The name of the dish presumably derived from some member of the large and important Stroganov family, perhaps Alexander Grigorievich Stroganoff from Odessa. Count Stroganoff, like many nobles of the time, being a man of considerable wealth, held “open tables”, which any educated and well-dressed fellow could attend.

A proprietary dish was concocted specially for these open tables: first, for the sake of convenience and consistency, and second, it was readily divisible into portions, not to mention delicious. One of Stroganoff’s chefs successfully combined a motif of French cuisine (grilled meat with sauce on the side) with a Russian tradition (the sauce is served not separately, but on top of the meat, like gravy).

The dish became known worldwide: beef Stroganoff is served everywhere from restaurants to cafeterias. After World War II, it entered the nomenclature of international restaurant cuisine as the “Russian dish” despite the fact that it is partly true.

And here's how we cook it:

For 2-3 servings:
beef - 300 g
onions - 2 pcs
cream - 200 g
potatoes - 3 pcs
pickled cucumbers - 2 pcs
half a cup of flour
tablespoon of sour cream
dill
1) The meat should be cut into strips about half a centimeter thick.
2) Next we roll the meat in flour.
3) The onion is cut into rings or a la plume, i.e. feather-shaped, they can be quite thick.
4) The potatoes are boiled to begin with, only a tiny bit, then we place them put in the frying pan until they turn crisp.
5) Meat-time! Pour some vegetable oil into the pan with a small piece of butter. And add the onion. When it starts to soften, our task is to place the meat on top so that it doesn’t touch the hot surface of the pan. Don’t let it fry. It should stew for a while and grow soft.
6) Add tomato paste, cream, and smetana or sour cream. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
Beef Stroganoff can be served with baked or mashed potato. As you saw, we boiled the potato, then fried it to give it a golden crust. All that’s left are the pickles, dill, and freshly ground pepper. 

Learn more about Russian culinary tradition!